This just in: The truth about criticism


My friend, Sara, posted this yesterday and it really helped me. Some people who will tell you what you can’t do. And once they realize you’re resourceful, they resort to criticism of anything in sight. I had that happen to me a few months back, and to be honest it’s been bugging me ever since. I couldn’t figure out why everything I did, said, had, or thought left him at least mildly dissatisfied. He is the kind of person that has a problem for every solution. And then, Sara shared this quote with me and something clicked.

His unhappiness had nothing to do with me. It never did. I was just in the unfortunate line of fire. It was him. It was always him. And with that realization, I stopped feeling badly for myself and actually felt badly for him. All the hurt I felt just melted, and I sent him a silent wish for happiness. I know my story better than anyone. He was telling me his story, not mine, and I hope that for his sake he finds a way to change what happens next rather than continuing down his current path. I know how a path like his ends, and it’s not pretty.

You can’t rescue someone from his own decision to be unhappy, but you can certainly rescue yourself from someone who just wants to bring you down. And by forging on, unhindered, you set the kindest example for that person—you show them that there’s a better way to live. Showing them what’s possible in your own strength is the greatest act of love there is.